Troubleshoot: Air Locks On Your Hydropool Hot Tub Or Swim Spa

Air locks can be a common occurrence with hot tubs, especially when draining and refilling. But what is an airlock and why is it bad for your hot tub? 

An airlock is when a pocket of air becomes trapped inside your pump. As a hot tub pump is designed to move water, not air, this can lead to damage to the pump.

Airlocks become apparent when your hot tub is powered on, with your jets running, but no water flowing through the jets.

How to Avoid Airlocks

Preventing an airlock is always best. When filling your hot tub from empty, always fill via the filter compartment, or surface skimmer. This will help fill the hot tub from the bottom up, pushing any air out along the way.

Ensuring your hot tub is filled to the correct level at all times will avoiding any air from being sucked into the system. If you have a pressurised filtration system, such as a Self Cleaning System, make sure you bleed any built-up air from your filter using the pressure release valve.


Sometimes airlocks are unavoidable. Below are my methods to clear a hot tub airlock.

Method 1:

Simply turn the airlocked pump on and off in short bursts. 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off. This should help push the air through the system and your jets should begin to flow as normal.


Method 2:

Bleed the pump. If you have access to the equipment area, you can identify the pump in question by switching it on briefly, and following the sound. Then, cut the power to your hot tub.

Depending on your pump, you may have bleed valves on the front of the pump, or you may have to loosen the union which connects the pipework to your pump.


Loosening the bleed valve at the highest point of the pump, using a suitable screwdriver, or by loosening the union at the top of the pump, you should begin to hear the rush of air leaving the system. Once water starts flowing out, you’ve cleared all the air and can tighten it back up again.

Switch the hot tub back on, and run the pump. You should be back in business, well the business of relaxation. 

If you are still experiencing problems, call your hot tub dealership or technician (that might be us!) They may be able to suggest solutions specific to your brand of spa.


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